Basketball legend Dr. J on why LeBron James is not an NBA G.O.A.T

LeBron James (L) appears with NBA Hall of Fame player Julius Erving at the 2003 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, July 16, 2003. (Getty Images)

NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving caused some controversy in the basketball world recently when he announced some of his greatest NBA players of all time and left off LeBron James, who is seen as one of the greatest in the game at the moment.

Former Philadelphia 76er great Erving did not only leave James off his first all-time team, but he also didn’t place the NBA star on his second all-time team of players.

“My first team is like Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, I got Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Elgin Baylor,” Erving said when he appeared on the podcast Posted Up With Chris Haynes. “That second team, Magic, Michael, Larry, Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar … those guys, they would be my second team. And a lot of people would argue that LeBron … you know it’s crazy to kind of pick him on the third team.”

The basketball legend went on to explain why he didn’t place James on the teams he mentioned. “When you look at LeBron and anybody he sort of picks with him … he played with so many guys. He’s the guy who has led the charge in terms of superteams being put together. When he put together the team in Miami, he put together that team in Cleveland as well and put together a team in Los Angeles. So he can pick his own team, I’m not going to pick his team. I’m not saying nothing bad about LeBron.”

Curiously, Erving placed Michael Jordan, who is regarded as the GOAT by a large number of NBA fans, on his second team. Others thought Kobe Bryant would have been mentioned in there, but Erving omitted him altogether.

Hall of Fame basketball forward Erving, who is known for his dunks and graceful play, helped the New York Nets win the ABA championship in 1974 and 1976. He then switched to the NBA and joined the Philadelphia 76ers. The basketball great helped lead the club to a world championship in 1983. At the time he retired in 1987, he had played in more than 800 games, scoring an average of 22 points per game.

Check out an excerpt of his interview with Haynes below:

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 4, 2021


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